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How Cubs fans got tickets... in the 1940s

Here's a blast from what now seems like a very distant past.

Courtesy Mike Bojanowski

Mike Bojanowski has a lot of cool Cubs stuff in his collection, but he had never seen this before, so when it popped up for $9 on eBay a week or so ago, he snapped it up.

It's a mail-order ticket form from the 1940s; the exact date isn't certain, because the dateline that you'd fill out when you send it in says 194__. Long before the Cubs had any sort of phone lines for ticket sales, and, of course, decades before online ordering, you could buy tickets two ways: by showing up at Wrigley Field, or by mail.

(Click on the images to open larger versions in a new browser window or tab.)

You'd fill out this form:

Or this one:

... and mail it in this envelope, as noted, with your check or money order. The Cubs even paid the postage -- both ways! (Note, no street address -- just "Wrigley Field".)

You could have the tickets mailed "at your risk" -- there was no USPS tracking in those days, of course -- or have them held at "Box Office A". I'm not sure where that was located, but it was obviously their version of Will Call.

Remember that through 1981, when the Wrigleys sold the team, all the grandstand (now called Terrace Box and Terrace Reserved, as well as Upper Reserved) seats and bleachers were sold on an unreserved, day-of-game basis only, so box seats as noted on the form (these would now be Field Box and Club Box, as well as Upper Box) were the only ones you could order in advance. The prices as noted on the form, lower prices for kids (what a concept!) would have been the same through 1951. In 1952 they went up... to $2.50 and $1.85.

Also of note: the form indicates that "Sunday and holiday games" need to be ordered "AS FAR IN ADVANCE AS POSSIBLE." Back then, Sunday and holiday dates were considered fun family outings; now, families often do other things on Sundays and holidays and the most-attended dates tend to be Saturdays.

The snarling Cub image at the top of this post, which is on the flap of the envelope, is awesome. Remember, the Cubs won a pennant during the time this order form was being used. Maybe we need that snarl again.